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Home :: Archive :: 2010 :: June ::
Sir Patrick Stewart

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0223  Sunday, 6 June 2010

[1] From:      Arthur Lindley < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:      June 3, 2010 3:59:23 PM EDT
Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0216 Sir Patrick Stewart

[2] From:      Nicole Coonradt < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:      June 3, 2010 4:44:56 PM EDT
Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0216  Sir Patrick Stewart

[3] From:      Sam Small < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:      June 3, 2010 7:24:47 PM EDT
Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0216  Sir Patrick Stewart

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Arthur Lindley < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         June 3, 2010 3:59:23 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0216 Sir Patrick Stewart
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0216 Sir Patrick Stewart

For what it's worth, Hardy, the director of that Tempest, which I didn't like very much either, was Rupert Goold whose remarkably exciting version of Romeo and Juliet is currently in rep at the Courtyard in Stratford. Its Miranda -- in, I believe, her first RSC role -- was Mariah Gale, Goold's current Juliet and, in the David Tennant Hamlet, about the best Ophelia I have ever seen.

Regards,
Arthur

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Nicole Coonradt < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         June 3, 2010 4:44:56 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0216  Sir Patrick Stewart
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0216  Sir Patrick Stewart

Re: "Four years ago, I believe it was, my younger daughter, Rebecca, and I saw Patrick Stewart in Stratford in _The Tempest_ as Prospero in one of the least satisfying RSC production I have ever watched."
was there!

I was in Oxford for a summer class in 2006 and our group attended this very production, directed by Rupert Goold. I agree w/ the assessment 100%. Tres strange! The fact that it was set in the arctic was bizarre, esp. when Gonzalo's lines of verdant vistas, "How green!", were left in tact. The whole production was a weird inversion of the play-- Caliban's first appearance (played by the dishy John Light) was when he dropped out of a cage from above; Ariel (played by Julian Bleach, who, to my estimation, stole the show), appeared from below, devil-like, and looked more like Nosferatu than an airy sprite. The harpy scene that disrupts the vanishing feast was horrifying and wholly unexpected-- leaving the audience thunder-struck by the intermission. During the "beautiful" wedding masque, Ferdinand and Miranda were blindfolded and manhandled by the witchy-looking Iris, Juno, and Ceres-- forced to kneel in submission and have what looked like mud (or something else more foul?) smeared on their faces before being subjected to what seemed nothing less than a water-torture-dunking of their heads in a bucket all to the disturbingly cacophonous sounds of wild drums. Of course this made Ferdinand's subsequent: "This is a most majestic vision!" beyond ridiculous. In the middle of this scene, a fellow student in the class leaned over and said, "I think we're watching MacTempest!"

The production traveled to the States and was apparently altered significantly -- one among our group saw it in Ann Arbor and liked the re-do much better. Apparently, Goold had considered staging it in *space,* but after Stewart was cast, thought better of it. A wise move, surely -- but perhaps the arctic was not the best alternative? I remember thinking that, despite Stewart's gratuitous unrobing early in the play, that it would have been funny and perhaps fitting if, at the end, no one had indulged him with the famously solicited applause.

Ahhh, good times!

But Hats Off to Sir Patrick!

Nicole Coonradt
University of Denver

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Sam Small < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         June 3, 2010 7:24:47 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0216  Sir Patrick Stewart
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0216  Sir Patrick Stewart

As a UK citizen I am frequently appalled at the social structure and practices of my culture. Giving honours and titles to prominent members of the working public is one such practice that is particularly embarrassing. The absurdity is that a strata of English society that does no work gives prizes to those that do. What is actually happening is that the aristocracy gain credence by association with the good and great of the UK. It is they that benefit from this odious custom. For all it's many faults the US has a better system. Exceptional luminaries from the world of theatre and screen stand or fall by their reputations not by any vacuous title pompously bestowed by President Obama.

When a member of the British aristocracy was recently caught selling her husband by the pound it makes you wonder what honours they can mete out with a straight face. Also remember that all titles and honours are not bound by any law. They can simply call themselves what they want. Neither is it in any way illegal to merely call any of them by their real names. However, I have decided. I shall give myself an honour.

You will now call me Lord Samuel Small, Duke of Kilburn High Road. And don't you forget it.

All this is so Shakespearean, don't you think?

SAM

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